Stephen Willats

Kinetic Modules - Multiple Clothing, 1991

‘I consider clothing as an important area of strategy in art, as a territory of expression that takes the artist right into the realm of reality that is very much a parameter to people’s experience of society. So the works I have developed as clothing are made to be worn, though there is a clear difference for the wearer with the clothes they might normally wear, so that the act of wearing my clothes differentiates the experience from normality in the surrounding world. My intention is that in wearing one of these clothes you yourself become an integral manifestation of the work, and your internalization of the meaning of the work is through that act of wearing it, and subsequently what happens to you as a result. The works alter your interpersonal relationship with the other people you come into contact with, and alter their relationship with you…..
In Kinetic Modules, kinetic fluidic activity reinforces the possibilities of change inherent in whatever displayed messages the wearer chooses to compose. all sides of each panel are edged with a zip enabling any combination of colours to be put together forming a coat, or a jacket, or a dress. Various coloured oils are inserted in the pockets and are warmed up by small heating elements to provide an ever changing fluidic mixture obscuring the text. A variety of texts concerning identity, feeling and intention are printed on plastic cards provided with the clothing assemblage. These cards can be inserted by the wearer into the pockets to build up whatever message they wish.'
Multiple Clothing, Designs 1965 – 1999, Stephen Willats, Walther König, Cologne, 2000

Stephen Willats: Kinetic Modules - Multiple Clothing

Kinetic Modules - Multiple Clothing. 52cm x 64cm. Poster paint, crayon, Letraset text, ink on paper